Mary McAleese has said that the baptism of infants is a form of coercion and is calling on the Church to change its practice.
Oh for…. (facepalm)
“You can’t impose, really, obligations on people who are only two weeks old, and you can’t say to them at 7 or 8 or 14 or 19, ‘Here is what you contracted; here is what you signed up to’ — because the truth is, they didn’t,” she said in a June 23 interview with The Irish Times.
Baptizing babies, she said, makes “infant conscripts who are held to lifelong obligations of obedience.”
You know, of course, unless you stop going to church and attend somewhere else (or nowhere else, for that matter.)
“What the Church has failed to do is to recognize that there has to be a point at which our young people, as adults who have been baptized into the Church and raised in the faith, have the chance to say, ‘I validate this’ or ‘I repudiate this,’” she added.
In the same interview, she said that the Church must respect the right of Catholics to dissent from Church teaching.
“Let’s be frank about it, very little of the magisterium — there are elements of it that are obviously infallible, things like the teaching on Christ and his divinity; but there are other things that over many, many centuries were taught with great passion that quietly now have been abandoned by the very magisterium that taught them.”
Clue me in here. Is there some law in Ireland that if you’re Catholic you can’t go to a Lutheran church? I realize freedom of religion is a relatively new concept in the grand scheme of things, but I’ve not heard of people being jailed for missing Mass.
McAleese, who has previously advocated publicly for ending abortion restrictions in Ireland, same-sex “marriage” and women’s ordination to the priesthood, drew headlines earlier this year when she spoke March 8 at a women’s conference in Rome held outside the Vatican.
Obviously she’s got some issues with core Catholic theology. Not being a Catholic, I don’t claim to be an expert on the Catechism, but I’m fairly certain that abortion and gay marriage are no-nos. Which begs the question, why does she still consider herself a Catholic?
I was raised Pentecostal. There are numerous aspects of Pentecostalism that I found myself no longer in agreement with. Did I tell everyone to stop rolling on the floor and babbling in gibberish? No. I quit going and left those who were still comfortable with it to continue doing so. You know, the whole “being an adult and letting people make their own decisions” thing.
Which brings me back to the point of the linked article. If someone wants to sprinkle their kids and call them Catholic, what’s the harm? When the kid turns of age and decides they don’t want to be Catholic, they can stop. Heck they could even become Baptist and decide they want dunked. Or they could go Pagan and dance in the woods naked. Other than disappointing their parents, what’s the worst that’s going to happen?
Mrs. McAleese is arguing for and against theological stances that have been argued over for centuries. Do you know who else doesn’t believe in infant baptism? Baptists. Pentecostals. Perhaps she should go join up with one of those denominations. She should quit trying to force her viewpoint on everyone else, which, ironically, is what she’s complaining about the Catholic Church doing.